Freemasonry is a philosophy of life which calls into play all the forces
of life in building that Temple of the soul as a symbol of the temple built
by King Solomon, and in that building process Masonry has set out certain
well defined principles and objectives as well as the ancient landmarks to
be observed, wherein there is nothing inconsistent with civil, moral or
religious duties and loyalties.
Its task and program consists in the growing and development of the soul,
or in other words, making the rough ashlar more perfect, and in inculcating
the highest principles in society and in the State.
‘A mason is a man and a Brother whose trust is in God. He meets you on
the level and acts on the square. Truth is his Compass and his is ever
PLUMB. He is loyal to his Order, and whatever his degree, his is MASTER of
In the building of that Temple of Brotherhood there are certain
ingredients which take priority over all others – there are some which are
vital and one of them is CHARACTER.
Now character does not come cheap; nature has few bargain counters and
this appears to be true especially in the realm of morals.
Everyone knows it requires little energy to slide down hill and
drift unconsciously, but climbing ‘the winding stairs’ may test every
muscle and every ounce of conviction.
Character is what a man is in the dark.
Character is likened to the foundation of a house – that part which is below
the surface and which automatically gives that house strength and stability.
Character is what a man really IS, while one’s reputation is the record
we’ve made in our respective communities.
Horace Greenley once reminded his readers that Fame is a vapour;
popularity an accident; riches have the tendency to take wings and fly away;
those who cheer today may curse tomorrow.
Only one things endures – CHARACTER.
Character is a priceless asset. Some years ago at a State dinner given
in honour of Hon. Herbert Asquith, the chairman paid this tribute –
“He has brought to the work of leadership the most priceless of all assets
– the asset of character. Believe me, however deceptive appearances may be,
it is and always will be the one sure passport to the respect and homage of
the British people. It is a happy assembling of qualities great in themselves,
but greater and rarer in their combination.”
Men everywhere respect and admire noble characters wherever they are found.
There is always something in right-being which attracts, moves, wins and compels.
Character is difficult to explain or define.
It is an element factor of life and is what God knows us to be.
It is something that exists entirely independent of the accessories and the
accidents of life.
There is a story told of Sir Harry Lauder who, as a boy, worked in a
coal mine in his beloved Scotland. He possessed a fine voice and in due
time became a talented singer. For a generation he was before the public as
an entertainer and a singer of humorous songs. A few years later he was
knighted by King George and many people were surprised.
Why did the King so singly honour a public entertainer? It was because
of his rugged character, for amid all the temptations associated with and
connected with a music hall, he clung to the simple virtues taught him in
his youth; he kept himself pure; he was sober as well as thrifty; he always
observed the Sabbath and maintained his faith in God. His whole personality
is a shining example of what sterling character can be.
The Measure of a Man
A man’s no bigger than the way he treats his fellow man
This standard has his measure been since time itself began.
He’s measured not by social rank when characters’ the test
Nor by his pomp and earthly show displaying wealth
He’s measured by justice and with right his fairness in his play
His squaredness in all dealings made his honest upright way.
These are man’s measures ever near to serve him when he can
For man’s no bigger than the way he serves his fellow man.
Author Unknown “Editorial”; Published in
THE TRACING BOARD, GRS; September, 1973